Czeslaw Walek

Image credit: Martin Strachoň / Wikimedia Commons

Czeslaw Walek is a lawyer and human rights advocate. Walek grew up in Třinec, a city in the Czech Republic important to the Polish-minority of which Walek is a part. He has held government positions including the Deputy Minister of Human Rights and Minorities and the Director of the Office of the Council for Roma Affairs. Walek is also a chairperson for the Prague Pride Organization, and in 2011 he was the director of the first Prague Pride festival which supports LGBTQ+ rights. He was in the recent documentary The Law of Love, which details the legal struggle for same-sex marriage in the Czech Republic. At one point in the documentary Walek explained, “Of course, being gay myself motivates me to fight for LGBTQ+ rights and marriage equality. But I was brought up with the idea that you have to protect your own rights and stand up for them.”

Walek stresses the importance of hope in the fight for human rights and remains optimistic for the future. In regards to the Prague Pride festival, he has stated, “I think we represent hope. We are the living proof that even in a country that went through the communist experience LGBT people should be treated openly and equally; that the general population of the Czech Republic is changing its attitudes and that soon those attitudes will change in [other] post-communist countries too.” Walek continues to fight for the protection of human rights in the Czech Republic and around the world.

Written by Kara Anderson, ’25